Since September 17th, 2022, protests in Iran have sparked a nationwide uprising. Despite the international outcry and human rights sanctions, the crackdown has intensified ten-fold while the battle against oppression is ongoing. Since Mahsa Amini’s death, over 250 people have been recorded as dead, with many more still unknown to us. Among them have been children as young as 12 years old. Accounts and videos of the protest circulate social media every day. They evidence the use of live ammunition, pellet guns and birdshots, most recently used to target the insides of residential buildings.
World leaders, policy makers and journalists have asked us how the international community can support the protestors. Here is our short answer: by taking action that not only holds perpetrators of grave human rights violations accountable, but also and much more importantly, prevents more bloodshed.
Designating a few individuals and entities as human rights violators, and discussions for holding emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council that could lead to the establishment of an investigatory mechanism have been essential as first steps. However, they have not deterred the perpetrators in their offices in Tehran.
The global community needs to think outside the box and create accountability mechanisms that by damaging the Islamic Republic regime increase the cost of the crackdown. Such actions must be coordinated as it is the only way to ensure the fundamental rights of Iranian citizens are upheld and their dignities maintained.
The international community must respect the Iranian people’s right of self-determination and should not continue to engage with a regime that only does not recognise its people, but kills them for voicing their dissatisfaction. A regime that murders the people it is supposed to represent should not be considered legitimate.
The following are some of the measures that are supported by a large number of Iranians inside and outside the country, summarised by Justice for Iran for the consideration of policy and law-makers:
- Cease all negotiations with the Islamic Republic regime, including negotiations on the nuclear programme;
- Expel ambassadors or other representatives of the Islamic Republic regime serving within embassies or international institutions;
- Suspend all mutual exchange programmes pertaining to economics, academia and culture;
- Ban Iranian sports teams from all sports federations and international competitions;
- List more individuals and entities responsible for the atrocities and extend human rights sanctions to the families of the perpetrators, particularly those whose assets are connected to the human rights abuse committed by the perpetrators;
- Designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.
We ask that the above recommendations are reviewed carefully and enacted until the bloodshed ends, Iranian citizens are given the right to freedom of assembly, all protestors and political prisoners are freed and the Iranian people’s right of self-determination is recognised.